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#1 2019-11-20 04:33:49

math9maniac
Member
From: Tema
Registered: 2015-03-30
Posts: 443

College Struggles

Hello friends,

I really appreciate the advice of any and all who will respond to this topic or thread.

How do you go through college when you somehow lose interest in your course? I don't hate the course but I'm losing interest and so I'm not motivated to pick its books to study. Part of the reason is how the material is presented by the lecturers and how the faculty treats us their students compared to how my other department(s) treat us students.

Also, I'd like to know: Can college students succeed without assignments? In colleges and universities in the USA for example, or other countries (wherever you come from please, dear respondent), how often do college students receive assignments? Do lecturers there (where you come from or are) have a way to increase student performance? Finally, what will you say about tutorials?

Dear you reading this: If you are or have been through higher education, know that I appreciate whatever response you share.

Many thanks.

math9maniac


Only a friend tells you your face is dirty.

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#2 2019-11-21 23:17:59

Bob
Administrator
Registered: 2010-06-20
Posts: 9,903

Re: College Struggles

hi math9maniac

I don't think I would continue with a course I didn't enjoy.  In the UK in first year at University one can generally switch course if the other course requirements are also satisfied, but it would depend on the Uni.  But, just not liking the presentation style of the lecturers is a bad reason.  Mostly, I've had to teach myself maths throughout my studies and also, I was often helping others who had your problem.  That's how I've ended up being who I am, so let's hope it did me good.

Assignments are essential as they force you to confront what you're supposed to know and find out if you do …(and do something about it if you don't).  And for my finals I did lots of past paper practice … without that I'd have failed.

They set them every week and our tutor marked and went over them in a group session. That kept them 'on their toes' too because the hw was on every topic and the tutor was a specialist.

Bob


Children are not defined by school ...........The Fonz
You cannot teach a man anything;  you can only help him find it within himself..........Galileo Galilei
Sometimes I deliberately make mistakes, just to test you!  …………….Bob smile

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#3 2019-11-22 02:12:06

math9maniac
Member
From: Tema
Registered: 2015-03-30
Posts: 443

Re: College Struggles

Hello Bob,

It's good to hear from you and I appreciate your responses. Thanks for your time.

bob bundy wrote:

I was often helping others who had your problem

I am sorry I don't understand this part.

bob bundy wrote:

Assignments are essential as they force you to confront what you're supposed to know and find out if you do

I totally agree with you. I love assignments, honestly. They're the best way I've learned most of what I know (from uninteresting subjects) and the best way I am able to retain information. The problem is, rather unfortunately, I can count the number of assignments we're given if any at all. I had hopes and expectations when I was coming to. It's like there was no orientation; you just find out things for yourself. I have just been disappointed at how things are here.

bob bundy wrote:

And for my finals I did lots of past paper practice …

Please, what finals are you referring to here, Bob? University or high school? At your university, do you write the "finals" per semester, yearly or at the end of the four-year period?

Past questions helped me to excel in junior and senior high school exams. No doubt the power of past questions or working as many practice papers as possible.

bob bundy wrote:

They set them every week and our tutor marked and went over them in a group session. That kept them 'on their toes' too because the hw was on every topic and the tutor was a specialist.

That's the thing, what I said somewhat earlier. The Teaching Assistants don't exist, don't come to class if they exist, don't mind you if you go to the department to see them personally; and the few exercises that we do are never marked or returned. It beats my brain how they expect excellent students.

I hope I can make a difference when I become a teacher someday.


Only a friend tells you your face is dirty.

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#4 2019-11-22 21:37:03

Bob
Administrator
Registered: 2010-06-20
Posts: 9,903

Re: College Struggles

hi,

When I was just ten years old the BBC was starting to think about making educational programmes for children.  My school took part in an experiment where we watched some pilot programmes where the presenter was an expert and some where the presenter knew less but was a teacher.  They wanted to find out which was better in terms of how much us children actually learnt.  Even at that age I could have told them what the result would be.  Being clever or learned doesn't necessarily make you good at teaching others.

It sounds like you are suffering because of this.  Both at school and at University I had some who were hopeless at explaining things properly and devising supporting structures for good learning.  That's why I say I ended up having to teach myself quite a lot, and I think my understanding was probably better for it.  Certainly it made me a better teacher because I had a much clearer understanding of why my pupils might find something difficult and I could use the things I had tried (to help myself) to then help others achieve the same understanding.

For age 16 exams (O levels) and for age 18 exams (A levels) I got my own sets of past papers from the exam boards and did lots of practice.  At Uni we did end of year exams only, with most of the weight being given to the final ones (end of 3 years for me).  Past papers were available in the Uni shop.

In your position I would try to find a good text (or nowadays something on-line) that would allow me to get the practice needed. 

I don't know if there are mechanisms in place to feed back to the Uni authorities about poor teaching practices.  Maybe you can at least improve things for the next students.

Amongst all my lecturers there were a few who had a talent for good presentation and I remember them fondly to this day.  If you are planning to become a teacher yourself one day this experience (even the negative bits) will make you better.  At the least you are learning what not to do.

You can always post here for help.  Maybe someone will be able to help.

Bob


Children are not defined by school ...........The Fonz
You cannot teach a man anything;  you can only help him find it within himself..........Galileo Galilei
Sometimes I deliberately make mistakes, just to test you!  …………….Bob smile

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#5 2019-11-25 04:06:45

math9maniac
Member
From: Tema
Registered: 2015-03-30
Posts: 443

Re: College Struggles

Hi Bob,

bob bundy wrote:

Being clever or learned doesn't necessarily make you good at teaching others.

Oh yes! Certainly, knowledge based teaching is different from professional teaching. I do wish the lecturers here are made to take teaching license exams and not just appointed because they have a PhD. I have learnt more from 1 hour of tutorials from a TA than 2 hours by a lecturer. I admire and appreciate the TAs who show much commitment and dedication to our success and are passionate teachers. Of course, some people just know how to combine both: brilliance and excellent teaching.

bob bundy wrote:

In your position I would try to find a good text (or nowadays something on-line) that would allow me to get the practice needed.

Thanks for the tip. And then I'll seek help from other students where I have difficulty. Not living on campus makes it difficult for me to join study groups too. Most students here like to "waste" the day and study at night instead; but I have to go home. This semester, I had a group of girls with whom I met each week to solve questions - assignments by our Prof and past questions too - and that course/subject seems to be the only exam that I have hope of scoring a very high grade in.


bob bundy wrote:

I don't know if there are mechanisms in place to feed back to the Uni authorities about poor teaching practices.  Maybe you can at least improve things for the next students.

Actually there are, and I do the evaluation every semester, even when it wasn't compulsory before. The question is whether they use the responses at all. I learned they only use a sample because we're many; I don't know the truth or falsehood in that rumour though.


bob bundy wrote:

That's why I say I ended up having to teach myself quite a lot, and I think my understanding was probably better for it.  Certainly it made me a better teacher because I had a much clearer understanding of why my pupils might find something difficult and I could use the things I had tried (to help myself) to then help others achieve the same understanding.

bob bundy wrote:

If you are planning to become a teacher yourself one day this experience (even the negative bits) will make you better.  At the least you are learning what not to do.

You bet these experiences have opened my eyes to a world I didn't know of before as I didn't struggle in middle school and high school; they were private schools. I certainly want to help my future students to not find study tough as it already is not so pleasant to do; I don't want a student to ever give up because of their teacher that was me. I want to be one of those that they'll remember later in life, as I fondly remember my teachers from pre-university days.

bob bundy wrote:

You can always post here for help.  Maybe someone will be able to help.

Thank you so much for the support. Support groups definitely help too. I am most grateful. I look forward to teaching Math someday soon when I complete undergrad. Also, a friend recently motivated me when she said how she's learning to stop complaining and cope with the system as it is. She doesn't know her words affected me too, and next year, my last semester, I'll take things into my own hands. I'll own my education as I can't wait for them to change before things get better for me.

Sincerely,

math9maniac

PS: Did you see an email I sent you, Bob?


Only a friend tells you your face is dirty.

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#6 2019-11-25 23:33:40

George,Y
Member
Registered: 2006-03-12
Posts: 1,379

Re: College Struggles

Hello math9maniac,

Your situation seems somewhat alike with my experienc in a graduate school, where math professor is not a very good conveyer of the subject.

However, my experience was that few assignment is better than many but not responsible assignment. I mean the assignment could be totally outside of teaching and tedious, just to make you busy and make the class "sound". I am glad that the professor at least does not mean to rob your time. Therefore you do have a choice to study alone.

About tutorial, tutor or textbook. I believe the most apprehensible for now is most valuable. I self studied stochastic calculus for several times, each time getting more experienced and advanced with the subject before becoming an expert in this field. I regret not begining from the basics and understandable when I was in college. I just finished every assignment every week(some took 2 days) and got good GPA though not quite got the subject.

About assignment. I believe the understanding of the topic, the understanding about the proofs are more important than simply "dog training" application like assignment.

Briefly, find a good tutor, find some good books starting from the basic and learn by yourself. You will not be confused.


X'(y-Xβ)=0

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#7 2019-11-26 01:11:23

math9maniac
Member
From: Tema
Registered: 2015-03-30
Posts: 443

Re: College Struggles

Hello George,Y

I appreciate your input and words of advice. You and bob bundy have helped and motivated to own my education and stand up for myself. I only wish I didn't expect too much, and that from beginning, someone would have told me that college is so much different from high school. There are so much I wish I had known earlier.

Regards


Only a friend tells you your face is dirty.

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#8 2019-11-28 00:03:36

George,Y
Member
Registered: 2006-03-12
Posts: 1,379

Re: College Struggles

My pleasure smile

math9maniac wrote:

Hello George,Y

I appreciate your input and words of advice. You and bob bundy have helped and motivated to own my education and stand up for myself. I only wish I didn't expect too much, and that from beginning, someone would have told me that college is so much different from high school. There are so much I wish I had known earlier.

Regards


X'(y-Xβ)=0

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